The Open announces camping village as free accommodation for fans (yes, seriously)
By Stephanie Wei under R&A


This press release certainly caught my attention. At this year’s Open Championship at Royal Troon, the R&A is setting up The Open Camping Village, which will feature two, four and six person pre-pitched tents along with inflatable camping beds for each guest — or as it’s being marketed, “the next generation of golf fans.” The location will be walking distance from Troon.

It’s an interesting initiative and definitely outside the box. Well, sort of. I have two friends in the media who have made camping when the Open is held at St Andrews some sort of tradition. It sounds different and adventurous until inclement weather comes along, which it often does at this championship. (Just ask them what happened in 2010!)

While as an American, I’ll admit I’m a bit of a wuss when it comes to crappy weather and camping (or I’m just traumatized by how much I was subjected to it during my childhood in Seattle), but Scots are generally much tougher. Of course, the first image that came to mind was Woodstock, or for more present day examples, any music festival in the country (though they’re usually held in the desert, a la Coachella), not to mention the image above.

Overall, the Camping Village is an innovative idea, especially since it’s free. But, wait, how much are those ticket prices again for the actual Open? <<yikes emoji>> Anyhow, I really can’t hate on anything that’s somewhat revolutionary when it comes to the golf industry.

Here’s the press release:

The next generation of golf fans attending The 145TH Open at Royal Troon this summer will be able to book free accommodation at The Open Camping Village.  The initiative is part of The R&A’s commitment to ensuring the Championship is open to all.

The Open returns to the historic Ayrshire links from 10-17 July and will see the world’s best players competing to become Champion Golfer of the Year.  Now spectators aged 25 and under will be able to take advantage of the new accommodation option free of charge.

The Open Camping Village, which will be run by The R&A’s official accommodation partner, will be located a short walk from Royal Troon at Marr Rugby Club. It will feature two, four and six person pre-pitched tents along with inflatable camping beds for each guest. There will be 500 camping places available each night with the facility set to be open from 10-17 July.  There will be food and drink options and shower facilities on-site, as well as free parking. Security will be operating 24 hours a day.

Johnnie Cole-Hamilton, Executive Director – Championships at The R&A said, “There will be an exciting festival atmosphere at Troon throughout the week of The Open as thousands of people come together for a true celebration of golf. The new Camping Village will provide a fun and safe accommodation option for young people within easy walking distance of Royal Troon.

“The Open is a wonderful opportunity for young fans to get up close to their favourite players and we know this will help inspire future generations to pick up a club and take part themselves. Our aim is to make The Open as accessible as possible and the new Camping Village along with discounted Youth Tickets and the Kids Go Free programme are key parts of this commitment.”

Families can also take advantage of the free accommodation at The Open Camping Village, with children under the age of 16 required to be accompanied by at least one adult of any age, to a maximum of two adults.

Thoughts? Would you camp out for the Open (especially knowing that the weather could be pure crap and there’s probably a chance your tent along with your belongings could be blown away)?